Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Importance of Youth

In 2006 we had a tough Wildcard win over the Giants. The game was decided by a FG and we won 23-20. The Giants ran for just over 150 yards in the game. It was a hard fought, intense, physical affair. The next week we went to New Orleans and really struggled on defense. We allowed over 190 rushing yards. Our guys wore down in the 2nd half.

That was also the game where Jeremiah Trotter went from being the Axeman to being the old man. Deuce McAllister made Trot look old and slow with a couple of moves. Sadly, that was the last we saw of Trot on the field as an Eagle.

The Giants are going to be well-rested on Sunday, just like the Saints were in '06. Will we fare better this time around?

I can't tell you we'll win the game, but we won't look the way we did in 2006. That defense was older in some key spots. Darwin Walker, Dhani Jones, and Trot have been replaced by Brodrick Bunkley, Chris Gocong, and Stewart Bradley. We're bigger, faster, and younger at all 3 spots.

Darwin was a turnstile in that game. Trot only had 5 tackles despite 37 runs by the Saints, most of them up the middle. I don't think you'll see this group get run on like the 2006 group.

We had to live with some mistakes by the young guys in the season. Gocong gave up a TD to Greg Olsen that he shouldn't have. He's been out of position on some run plays. Stew has had his ups and downs as he adjusts to being a starting MLB. He's had some games where his run defense wasn't great. He struggled at times in coverage. Both guys have also played very well for most of the season.

Bunkley is infinitely better against the run than Darwin Walker ever was. Bunk is developing into quite a good DT. He's big and strong and plays like it.

Hopefully that youth will show up on Sunday in the form of fresh legs and guys that can win individual battles. We have to match the Giants in terms of being physical.


It sounds like Klecko is out. Buck and Eckel are each getting reps with the offense. Buck will get the majority of the snaps based on what is being reported.

You'd rather have Klecko than Buck as the lead blocker, but the Eagles can work around this. They can run from 3-WR sets more often. They will use Brent Celek as a lead blocker on some plays. Buck can be effective a few times.

The problem comes on 3rd/1 when the D is playing the run and LBs are going to attack the gaps. Buck isn't going to block many 240-lb guys that are attacking upfield. Maybe Eckel gets worked in on those plays. We also could get creative. Spread the D out and run a QB draw. Stuff like that.

1 comment:

Stephen said...

I'm a fan of Eckle, if he can be coached to not try and be fancy and to just bulldoze all the time I think he could be a great short yardage guy. He's shown some aptitude for it already, he just needs to be reminded that 3rd and 1 or 2 doesn't need fancy footwork, just strait ahead power.

I remember '06 against the Saints, the way we got run on that game I'm shocked we were even in it in the 4th quarter. Trotter just wasn't the same guy after '05.